Friday, June 27, 2014

Behind the Author Drama - Class Acts and Professionals

Book blogging on the internet has brought a lot of interesting elements to reading. We are connected to other readers and other fans on a scale we never have before. We have spawned a whole cottage industry of ordinary-person reviewing with little in the way of the usual gatekeeping we see and expect. We have discussions and critiques and social justice debates and analysis which would have been far narrower and harder before.

It’s also brought fans and authors together in whole new ways producing many wonderful new interactions and opportunities.

It’s also let us see more and more of that now infamous problem - the Outraged Author. The Author Who Wants To Tell You You Read the Book Wrong. The Author with the Fanpoodles of Raging Doom and, of course, the vicious trolls at Stop the Goodreads Bullies. Sometimes it seems a week doesn’t go past without hearing of an author who decides to show their scabby buttocks for all to see. We’ve certainly had some unfortunate experiences ourselves.

The sad thing is that these unfortunate events are miniscule compared to our normal author interractions. There are some authors we love to talk to, tweet, email back and forth and interview (also, I’ll take the time here to appreciate those authors who we have questioned in our interviews and listened to us). Ones we talk to and, of course, fanpoodle (or fanchicken as the case may be). for every author who flounces in to tell us how terribad wrong our criticism is, there’s 4 or 5 more who we talk to and have fun with and love that complete shatter this whole authors vs reviewers false war that often feels to unreasonably dominate the blogosphere (as much as drama can be immense fun).

Those authors who we love and talk to know who they are, and there are a number of other authors who we don’t talk to regularly but still drop us a nice note after a good review.

But I think there’s another group of authors who really deserve a mention as well. These are not authors we spend a lot of time talking to nor, it has to be said, are they author’s whose books we particularly enjoyed. In fact, our reviews of their books were not positive, in some cases, our reviews were quite brutally honest.

And they contacted us and said “thank you.” Not “oh how very dare you!” or “how could you, that’s my baby!” or even “well clearly you are reading it wrong!” They thanked us. And, in some cases, even put forward another book to review. These authors are not just professional, but classy and while every week we hear a new story of an author losing their ever loving mind over a review, we rarely hear of these professionals acting with dignity and class.

So, a shout to you all:

Kip Manley, Angela Roquet, Angelia Sparrow, Kim Faulks, Allison Moon, Georgiana Derwent, Laura Kentowski, Ezra Holiday, Hal Goodman, Bill Blais, Roh Morgan, Wol-vriey, Tiger Gray, Sherry Soule,

You are class acts. I also have to point out that many of these authors are from small presses or are self-pubbed as well. Too often self-pubbed and small press authors are considered to be unprofessional, thank you for proving them so wrong (and apologies to any author we may have forgotten, our email inbox is a rats’ nest).

We don’t expect any author to contact us - in fact, we deliberately choose not to link our reviews to authors (positive or negative) simply because we don’t want authors to feel obligated to read a review or comment on them. But when an author does and shows such class, they deserve acknowledgement